India’s efforts to contain the highly contagious Wuhan coronavirus have periodically suffered serious blows starting with the Tablighi Jamaat congregation. In a shocking turn of events, Punjab has literally invited the deadly virus into the state as the Amarinder Singh government wanted to showcase its heroism by bringing back thousands of pilgrims from Nanded, Maharashtra and both the Maharashtra and Punjab governments failed to test the pilgrims which has now resulted in Punjab’s green zones turning into red as the returning pilgrims are testing positive for the deadly virus.
In a shocking blunder which was exposed by ABP news, the callousness of the Amarinder Singh and Uddhav Thackeray governments is in full display. The Punjab government sent 80 buses to bring back over 2,000 pilgrims from Nanded and were allowed to return to their respective homes after screening. None of the state government found it prudent to test the pilgrims for the virus. Punjab is now paying for lackadaisical attitude of both the state governments as on Wednesday, out of the 33 positive cases detected in the state, 29 of the cases belonged to the pilgrims who had returned from Nanded.
कल ही पंजाब सरकार से सीधा सवाल था और आज कैप्टन सरकार का एक और कोरोना कांड आ गया-जालंधर में दो कोरोना मरीजों को नेगेटिव बताकर मंगलवार शाम को डिस्चार्ज किया।मीडिया से मिलवाया।दोस्तों ने फूलों से स्वागत किया। रात 11 बजे अस्पताल ने फ़ोन करके कहा रिपोर्ट तो पॉज़िटिव आ गई। हद लापरवाही https://t.co/FjKD6HhymK
— Rubika Liyaquat (@RubikaLiyaquat) April 29, 2020
Due to this blunder, Punjab’s green zones are now turning red. Tarn Taran which was a green zone saw 514 pilgrims returning from Nanded and now has now reported 8 fresh cases. Similarly, Kapurthala reported 3 new cases after the return of the pilgrims.
Punjab government must answer why the pilgrims were let go scot free after just screening them and not forced them to go into quarantine if the state government didn’t find it prudent to test them?
In Amritsar, 179 pilgrims were allowed to return home after just screening them, and after ABP news exposed the shocking indifferent attitude of the state government, the administration a day later sent a letter to the returned pilgrims requesting them to undergo testing.
In another instance in Jalandhar, two corona suspected patients were discharged from the hospital on Tuesday after their tests returned negative. The patients then met the media and returned home with much fanfare as their friends greeted them by showering flowers. On the same night, the hospital authorities informed the patients that their test has returned positive. Shocking apathy has now put the lives of those who came in contact with the patients in serious peril.
It would have been foolish to expect the Uddhav Thackeray government to test the pilgrims leaving for Punjab as since day one his failing administration has been asking for the states to evacuate their migrants from Maharashtra. Thackeray would have been over the moon with the news of over 2,000 pilgrims being evacuated but better sense should have prevailed in the Captain Amarinder Singh government as his administration should have tested the returning pilgrims.
Punjab has till date reported 377 cases of the virus with Amarinder Singh officially extending the lockdown in the state till May 17. There is a limit to which the lockdown can be extended but if the state government continues to function like this, Punjab will be forced into a state of indefinite lockdown.